If you want to reduce your stress levels, you have firstly to be aware of the potent signs of a stress related illness.
The experts have confirmed what you must have felt for years. Health professionals and doctors worldwide agree that stress is not just a psychological hang-up, but a potent cause of illnesses.
According to prestigious academic institutions such as Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic, stress increases the likelihood of many health conditions, including GI issues, cognitive decline and heart disease.
Though this may be, it is still a task for the brain to differentiate between a true trigger and a psychological reaction. It is useful to understand how illnesses relate to stress. Spotting the signs of a stress related illness will go a long way towards reducing them. Of course, you should know how doctors treat them.
How Stress Relates to Health
According to WebMD, a staggering 43% of adults suffer from the negative consequences of stress. Up to 90% of doctor’s visits are for stress-related ailments.
Stress may seem like a harmless psychological quirk, but it may have more impact on your body than you realize.
For a start, it generates tension that can develop into nasty headaches. That, in turn, leads to a lack of needed sleep.
Fatigue sets in and depression follows. Stress can trigger hypertension and other heart-related problems. Palpitations may arise as well. It may also cause significant damage to the liver and heart disease.
Stress may lead to digestive problems. It is also a top cause of Erectile Dysfunction and Infertility. Increased pressure may decrease your immunity as well. Snacking, overeating and by extension, obesity, often result from excessive mental pressure.
Signs of a Stress Related Illness
You will know if you feel unwell. What you may not know how to do is ascertain if your queasy feelings are a result of mental pressure.
1. Diagnostic Tests Turn Up Negative
One sign of a stress related illness is if the doctor cannot seem to find anything amiss after performing a battery of tests on you. Tests do not measure stress and its effects, so if they turn up negative in spite of your pain, you may be facing more pressure than you realize.
2. The Pain is Not Stationary
Stress related pain does not occur in particular parts of the body. It tends to move around and leave you flabbergasted. If you have back pain, for example, it may take place in the upper back on one day and in the lower the next.
3. You feel tense in every part of your body
You would feel the tension in many parts of your body if you suffer from stress. These would include stomach issues, headaches and very often, tightness in the chest.
4. You do not sleep well
Slowing down and falling asleep would prove difficult if your body has many stressors. Such a reaction is a sign that your body needs time to recuperate and digest the things that are happening to you.
5. Focusing is an issue
Excess stress may make concentrating a chore. You may find it hard to focus on your tasks. You would also think of the “big picture” and forget the intricacies of the moment.
10 Easy Ways to Bring Your Stress Levels Down
You would not need convincing to reduce your stress. But looking for a way to do so amid your hectic schedule would prove a massive hurdle.
Here are simple ways to relieve your pressure, at any time.
1. Listening to Music
Music is a potent stress reliever. Experts maintain that it reduces cortisol, and consequently, blood pressure. Choose quiet, instrumental tunes, or listen to the relaxing sounds of nature.
2. Talk to a Friend
A listening ear is always an effective stress reliever. Call a friend or a loved one when you feel your pressure building. A stable support system a critical part of a healthy lifestyle and helps to put things in perspective.
3. Tak Calmly to Yourself
A foolproof way to deal with a stressful situation is to talk calmly to yourself. Ask yourself why you feel stressed up, and more importantly, what you must do to bring your pressure down.
4. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Like most people, you may turn to food to comfort yourself when you feel stressed. Avoid sugary food and pastries when the pressure builds. Try snacking on fruits and vegetables instead.
5. Have a good belly laugh
The adage goes that laughter is the most efficient medicine. The saying is true; laughing is a proven way to reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. So, it is confirmed – a belly laugh improves mood.
The caffeine in coffee causes your blood pressure to rise over the short term. It also causes the pituitary and adrenal glands to overwork.
Instead of reaching for coffee, try green tea. It contains half the caffeine in coffee and has a host of valuable antioxidants. Green tea has theanine, an amino acid that soothes the nervous system.
Exercise does not mean power lifting. It may just mean standing up at your desk and stretching. It gets your blood flowing, releases endorphins and improves your mood.
Stress, of course, worsens sleep. Try to get a daily dose of seven to eight hours of rest. Make it a point to turn off your lights early and give yourself time to wind down before going to bed.
Every stress related illness is manageable if you take the time to spot the above signs.
By Michelle L.